Child sex trafficking ring operating blocks from White House shut down by federal agents
Federal cases increased by 20 percent over a two-year period
by Teri Webster
What are the details?
The TV station examined U.S. Justice Department data on trafficking cases between 2015 and 2017 and found that the number of people facing federal trafficking charges increased by 20 percent, according to its report. Case files from Virginia and Maryland showed that trafficking crimes often turn into federal cases because the criminals cross state lines while selling girls for sex, the TV station found.
“Traffickers move people up and down the East Coast, traveling through Richmond, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore,” Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, told the news outlet.
“This can be happening in hotels, this can be happening in bars — it runs the whole gamut,” he added.
In one of the cases from 2017, two Prince William County men “advertised a 15-year-old girl online and sold her for sex at hotels in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.,” according to the report. The TV station obtained surveillance footage that showed the men driving the victim to a hotel, where she was sold for sex just six blocks from the White House.
Christian Hood and his accomplice, Abdul Bangura, are serving 11-year prison terms for sex trafficking, WRC reported.
What about this surge?
An anti-trafficking organization, the Polaris Project, reported that the number of cases reported to a national trafficking hotline surged by 25 percent in 2018.
“The significant increase in cases we’re handling this year is a reflection of the more targeted and better-informed efforts to raise awareness about the true nature of human trafficking in the United States,” Caroline Diemar, director of the National Human Trafficking Hotline, told WRC.
Law enforcement and victim advocates say the impact is severe. The trauma that traffickers inflict on their victims can last long after justice is served.
“A number of victims are still under the control of their traffickers. They’ve been manipulated. They feel a lot of trauma because of what has happened to them,” said Maureen Cain, a federal prosecutor in Alexandria who handles trafficking cases.
Although the increase in arrests and prosecutions is a positive development, the problem of trafficking is not new, said victim’s advocate Elisabeth Corey.
“In the past, there just wasn’t a name for it, and there weren’t enough people saying this is wrong,” said Corey, who also writes a blog on the topic. “That’s what’s changing.”
(TLB) published this article from TheBlaze with our thanks for the coverage.
About the writer Teri Webster
Teri has worked as a staff writer in several major news markets across the country. More recently, she received a first-place national award for long-form journalism from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia. She may be reached at email@example.com.
The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)
Disclaimer: The Liberty Beacon contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, health, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.
Follow TLB on Twitter @thetlbproject